Arsenal progressed to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League despite losing 1-0 to Lyon at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday in a game that saw striker Vivianne Miedema suffer a serious-looking knee injury.
A controversial own goal from Frida Maanum at the end of the first half was all that separated the sides on the penultimate match day in the Champions League group stage. Having needed only to avoid a four-goal loss, Arsenal advance while Lyon will need just a draw from their final match against Juventus.
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Despite shocking the same opposition when they met in the group stage earlier this season, running out 5-1 winners at the Parc OL, Arsenal failed to do the double over the eight-time champions on a miserable night for the hosts in North London.
Coming into the game off the back of a loss to league rivals, PSG, Lyon showed some of the same uncharacteristic sluggishness on the ball, with the squad still struggling with an injury crisis that has impacted countless players in their starting XI.
A flat first 45 minutes saw both teams claim only one or two half chances, the most notable coming when Katie McCabe floated a cross that had just too much on it for Caitlin Foord to connect with at the back post.
But the game sparked into something close to life in first-half stoppage time when Lyon opened the scoring by way of a Maanum own goal that could have been chalked off by the officials with Melvine Malard standing in an offside position and appearing to interfere with play.
Things fast went from bad to worse for the Gunners when Miedema had to be stretchered off in tears following a lengthy spell of treatment on the pitch.
“I don’t know [how bad it is] I haven’t spoken to her or the doctor,” Arsenal coach Jonas Eidevall told reporters after the game. “I don’t have any updates but right now that takes a lot of my thoughts. I’m very concerned over that, but we had to stay focused on the game.
“After the game we are concerned but [at half-time] we are super professional, we don’t let anything take away our focus from what we are doing. The players stuck to what we need to do on the pitch. After we are concerned, during we are 100% professional with what we are doing.”
The second half saw Lyon create more going forward, with the introduction of attacker Eugénie Le Sommer allowing them to play more directly. But although she drew a strong save out of Manuela Zinsberger soon after coming on, Lyon could not add to their tally on the night.
Still looking for something from the match, Arsenal were denied a flurry of late chances as Lyon were forced to defend resolutely from a hat trick of late set pieces.
With Juventus beating Zurich 5-0 in the early kick-off, Lyon will progress with a point against the Italian champions on the final day of the group stage.
Elsewhere, a 5-0 win for Bayern Munich over FC Rosengård and a 6-2 win for Barcelona against Benfica have confirmed both the Bavarians and Catalans will be progressing from Group D to the knockout rounds with a match to spare.
Arsenal vs. Lyon – Football Match Report – December 15, 2022